An assisted living facility will not be coming to the corner of Middle Neck Road and Hicks Lane, the Great Neck village mayor announced at a crowded town hall meeting in Great Neck House last Monday, drawing applause and cheers.
Representatives for Kaplan Development Group had first pitched a possible assisted-living facility for 705 Middle Neck Road in August 2017 to gauge if there was interest. Representatives said at the time it would likely be five stories tall with 96 units.
The site was then listed as “a property of interest” in a study done by VHB, an engineering firm serving as the village’s consultant for revitalization. Paired with the study was a proposed zoning change that could have made assisted living an “as of right” use in that part of the village.
In its corridor study, VHB described the property as a roughly half-acre site with a “one-to-three story commercial retail and office building with several vacancies” wrapping around the corner of Middle Neck Road and Hicks Lane. It is also home to a separate two-story retail-office building to the south.
“The assisted living in that corner is dead. It is not going to happen,” Great Neck Village Mayor Pedram Bral said at the town hall meeting. “I know that many people had issues with safety, they had issues with the height.”
Bral went on to say that after listening to the public and extensive discussions with the Board of Trustees, five-story buildings will not be considered for Middle Neck Road or East Shore Road in any revitalization plan.
A representative for Kaplan Development Group could not be reached for comment.
This follows a steady drumbeat of opposition to an assisted-living facility on that corner, with residents fielding statistics and safety concerns. Many argued the potential impact of such a facility was underestimated, that it would worsen congestion and be unsafe.
In addition to allowing assisted-living facilities, proposed changes to the zoning code would have expanded an incentive overlay district and allowed the Board of Trustees, on a case- by-case basis, to give developers an incentive like an extra floor in exchange for a presumed community benefit like “affordable housing,” commercial development or waterfront access.
The originally proposed legislation was declared “dead” in March following community opposition.
While mock-ups, drawings and elevation schematics were previously presented, village Clerk-Treasurer Joe Gill said a “formal application” has not been filed for an assisted-living facility.
“They had made a presentation previously and that was to get a feel if it was something the board would have objection to if they would pursue it,” Gill said last Thursday.